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GKA Freestyle World Cup Leucate coming next month

by Global Kitesports Association 30 Mar 07:01 GMT 20-25 April 2019
Carlos Mario and Mikaili Sol topped the rankings of both the GKA Air Games and the World Kiteboarding Championship World Tours last year - this year with just one unified tour, can they dominate again? © Ydwer van der Heide

The Mondial du Vent is a prestigious wind event that has run for over 20 consecutive years on the southeast French coast. A longstanding home of elite windsport events, the 2019 festival will stage the Windsurfing European Pro Freestyle Tour, but also round one of the newly amalgamated GKA Freestyle World Tour which kicks-off its new campaign, with the GKA Freestyle World Cup Leucate!

The format: 100% Freestyle

The GKA Freestyle World Tour was formed after the amalgamation at the end of 2018 between the GKA Kiteboarding 'Air Games' World Tour and the World Kiteboarding Championships. The newly unified GKA Freestyle World Tour will see a blend of formats according to the spot and the event over the coming years, in the search to find the most complete freestyle rider.

The GKA Freestyle World Cup Leucate will be judged on 100% freestyle (technical unhooked tricks, not hooked-in big air).

The competition format for this first freestyle event of the year will be a dingle elimination, with a male ladder of 40 participants and a female ladder of 16. The top 24 men and top 12 women from last season are automatically qualified, and the remaining spots will be allocated to other freestyle riders who have requested a wildcard.

We will see the same competition format as last year on the WKC, which means four man heats, seven trick attempts, and the top four trick scores counting.

There will be live-scoring on the beach, and of course all of the live-scoring and livestream will be available to watch during each day of the event. The finals in Leucate will also be live broadcast on TV together with Bein TV globally, and with Trek TV for France and French speaking territories.

Carlos Mario ended up winning the 2018 GKA Kiteboarding 'Air Games' World Tour, but the first event of last year in Leucate sadly somehow delivered zero wind for the event period (the first time in 20 years that's happened!)

In 2017 it was Liam Whaley who took the win at the last 100% freestyle event in Leucate, knocking out Carlos Mario (the current and 3 x Freestyle World Champion) in the finals. Will he manage to do the same this year? Carlos Mario from Brazil has a pretty perfect track record right now after winning every pure freestyle event last season (and as we've mentioned, also claimed the GKA Kiteboarding 'Air Games' World Championship, too).

There will be some big names joining the line-up, including Set Texeira from Brazil, Adeuri Corniel from the Dominican Republic, while Maxime Chabloz and Valentin Rodriguez will be determined to make their mark this season!

On the women's side of the action, current Freestyle and Air Games World Champion, 14 year old Mikaili Sol, has been training extremely hard for this first event of the season, but she will have some tough competition from her rivals Paula Novotna from Czech Republic, Rita Arnaus from Spain and Pippa van Iersel from The Netherlands.

Find all you need to know at event page here.

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